Endangered gorilla in New Orleans expecting 1st baby


Tumani, a 13-year old critically endangered western lowland gorilla that is expecting to give birth later this summer, eats in her enclosure at the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans, Monday, July 6, 2020. If successful, it will be the first gorilla born at the zoo since 1996. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — One of the critically endangered gorillas in New Orleans’ zoo is expecting her first baby, and already is being trained with a “doll” to hold her future offspring.

The Audubon Zoo’s chief veterinarian, Robert McLean, said Monday that the training doll doesn’t look anything like a gorilla, because a stuffed toy could easily be torn apart.

Rather, it’s a section of canvas firehose tubing woven to about size of a 4-pound newborn gorilla.

The due date is sometime between July 15 and Aug. 20, and veterinarians don’t know the baby’s sex.

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